Empowerment Academy Students Visit 1st Mariner

by Stacy Tharp 24. April 2012

Last week, in honor of Financial Literacy Month, 1st Mariner Bank had the pleasure of hosting a group of seventh grade students from the Empowerment Academy in Baltimore City who are currently participating in Operation HOPE’s Banking on Our Future (BOOF) program.

Guy Stafford
Guy Stafford welcomes the students to 1st Mariner.

BOOF’s purpose is to teach people at a young age how to make educated and responsible financial decisions to promote dignity, hope, and economic self-sufficiency in low-wealth communities.  BOOF courses are offered to schools and communities free of charge and are led by HOPE Corps volunteers who have undergone comprehensive training in financial literacy and teaching techniques.  The program has reached over 700 schools and community-based organizations in the U.S., South Africa, and Haiti.

The Empowerment Academy’s BOOF program is run by our own Guy Stafford, SVP, CRA Officer and Community Lending Manager.

Chris Plude
Chris Plude explains what it takes to be a teller.

The visiting students were welcomed by Guy Stafford along with Mark Keidel, President,  and Dennis Finnegan, EVP, Retail Banking.  The students then split up into groups and were escorted around to different departments of the bank.

Students were brought to the teller training room, where they were “trained” to become tellers.  They even got to “process” basic transactions.  Once they were finished training, students were given a tour of our Canton branch.

The eCommerce team explained to the students how 1st Mariner Bank uses social media, and the

Erica Barry and Wade Barnes
Erica Barry and Wade Barnes discuss social media.

students discussed smart ways and not-so-smart ways to use their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The students also discussed and were given advice on many firsts that would be coming up, such as how to prepare for their first job interview, things to consider when purchasing their first car, and tips on saving money for college.

The 1st Mariner presenters and volunteers were very impressed by the students’ eagerness to learn about banking and making smart financial decisions, and we can’t wait until their next visit!

For more photos from the Empowerment Academy visit, see our Facebook page.

Maryland's Economy Outperforms Expectations

by Anirban Basu 13. April 2012
Anirban Basu
Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc.

 

Job creation has picked up in Maryland. After stumbling for much of the previous summer, recent months have been very positive from a job growth perspective.  The working hypothesis is that this represents economic multiplier effects related to base realignment activities at Fort George G. Meade in Anne Arundel County and at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County.

Between February 2011 and February 2012, employment in the Free State increased 1.9 percent or by 47,000 jobs according to establishment survey data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That ranks the state seventh in the nation with respect to year-over-year percentage job growth, a significant improvement from a particular period last year when Maryland ranked dead last (May 2010 v. May 2011).  Leading growth sectors include construction (+5.0%), education and health services (+4.2%), professional and business services (+3.1%) and leisure and hospitality (+2.9%).  Base realignment has helped to support job growth in a number of key business segments, including professional services and construction.

State-by-State Job Growth

Maryland's January 2012 unemployment rate represented the lowest rate in three years.  The state's jobless rate dropped to 6.5 percent in January, almost 2 full percentage points below the national average of 8.3 percent for that month (now 8.2 percent; March 2012).

Other sources of information are similarly sanguine.  A recent Maryland Survey of Business Activity conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond indicates that business activity increased at a solid pace in March with the general business activity index jumping to 26 from 8 – the highest reading since April 2011.  Roughly 50 percent of respondents in the March survey expect business conditions and sales revenue to improve over the next six months.

Despite the emergence of optimism, headwinds remain.  As of this writing, U.S. equity markets are in retreat and long-term interest rates are falling, an indication of ongoing concern regarding the economic outlook.  The consensus forecast is for roughly 2 percent growth in America in 2012, with the implication being that the economic recovery remains fragile.

Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most recognizable economists, in part because of his consulting work on behalf of numerous clients, including prominent developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers and law firms. On behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations, Mr. Basu has written several high-profile economic development strategies, including co-authoring Baltimore City’s economic growth strategy. His opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of 1st Mariner Bank.

 

Organize It, Toss It, or...Shred-It!

by Renee' Anderson 9. April 2012

1st Mariner Bank's Shred-it Day FlyerThere's something about spring that is refreshing.  Maybe it's the air blowing through the open windows, the smell of fresh cut grass, or the colorful flower buds popping out of garden beds. There’s also something refreshing about a clean house! As you do your spring cleaning, keep these three categories in mind:

1) Organize It

Whether you're going through the shoes in your closet (boots in the back, flip flops up front please), or sorting through old papers, now is a good time to organize it! Take those papers that you've let pile up on your kitchen counter, pull out things that you know you want to hang onto (i.e. important files from the year), and take them to the file cabinet or desk drawer and label it.

2) Toss It

Some things just need to get tossed. Those winter boots that have holes in them won’t do you any good – toss it! Old mail containing no personal information that you’ve held onto for whatever reason (expired coupons, outdated catalogs or magazines), just toss it!

3) Shred It

This one doesn’t apply to shoes, but it is very important and often overlooked for papers.  While going through your papers that you don't need, separate anything that has any personal information on it (name, address, account number, etc.) and shred it! It is important to protect your identity.

Don’t own a paper shredder? We got you covered. 1st Mariner will have a Shred-It truck at the Cockeysville and Dundalk branches on Saturday, April 14th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Just bring any unwanted documents, and we’ll do the rest.

 

Happy spring cleaning!



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